Keeping an eye on the child’s progress is another way of showing them support
You can get a sense of how your child is going by
- talking to your child regularly about school
- noticing how your child talks about school – for example, if your child is reluctant to talk, or sounds bored or unmotivated about school, there might be a problem
- being aware of whether your child is doing homework regularly
- reading your child’s school reports carefully
- attending parent-teacher interviews and other opportunities to meet school staff
- Watching out for any behavior changes or problems.
Talk with your child
The best way to start is to talk with your child. Raise your concerns and ask your child about his concerns and how he’s coping at school
Recognize and respond to problems
Getting on top of school problems quickly can stop them from getting worse and having long-term negative consequences for your child’s progress and self-esteem. A quick response also sends your child a clear message that you have her best interests at heart.
Your involvement in your child’s schooling is crucial. Children do better at school when their parents go to parent-teacher meetings, get involved with homework, and watch them participating in school-related activities such as sport.
Blaming the school or your child’s teacher won’t do any good. As much as is possible, work with the school administrators and teachers.
The only way to create success is to partner with the school. If you’re really struggling with your child’s teacher, find somebody else who you can create that relationship with. Pinpoint someone in the school who you can work with—it could be a guidance counselor, or even the principal. This person will be able to advocate for your child more effectively than you can in some instances, and might also be able to shoot you an email when they notice something or feel like your child needs some extra help.
At home, sit with your child if possible and help him through his homework assignments.
When your child complains about school, don’t join with him in criticizing his teacher.
Don’t talk bad about the teacher along with your child. There’s the potential that you could make the situation much worse by doing so. Remember, you’re only going to hear the story from your child’s perspective. If he doesn’t like the teacher and you fuel that dislike, it’s only going to make it worse for your child who is in that classroom so many hours every day. Again, the most important thing is to try to join with the teacher if possible so that your child becomes responsible and can’t deflect that responsibility to a “bad” or a “mean” teacher. it’s important to recognize that teachers have a really hard job. They generally respect parents who are aiding them by helping their child learn. The fact that James and I would take the time to write notes to the teacher and sit with our son and do homework was time well spent, from the teacher’s point of view. That’s an investment, and teachers respect parental investments in their child’s learning.
Teachers also want to feel support from parents for what happens in the classroom. I’ve seen parents immediately take their child’s side and not take the time to get the full picture from the school staff or teachers. I believe it’s important to see the full picture. You may not like it when you get it, but at least you’ve taken the time to get the other side of the story.
Recognize that your child’s teacher has a difficult job. Get the full picture when there is a situation at school—don’t simply rely on your child’s retelling of the story, because he will only see things from his point of view. I believe that one of the keys to helping your child succeed in school is really a lot more parental involvement in general. They may never realize how helpful some of the school folks have been. They may never appreciate the fact that you’ve sat there every night and helped them do their homework. But if you can see their success, you know you’ve done the right thing.